Unemployed youths will be trained to sterilize monkeys in one northern Indian state's effort to combat aggressive primates that have been raiding farms and harassing residents, according to a plan announced Thursday by a state official.
The idea drew immediate condemnation from conservationists, who said the plan was unscientific and would likely worsen the problem.
Indian authorities have struggled in recent years to deal with the tens of thousands of monkeys that live in and around its cities.
The monkeys are drawn to public places, such as temples and office buildings, where they are often fed.
In recent months, the deputy mayor of New Delhi was killed when he fell from his balcony during an attack by wild monkeys, and 25 others were injured when a monkey went on a rampage in the city.
The mountainous state of Himachal Pradesh is infested with rhesus macaque monkeys that have been driven to farms and cities after losing their natural habitat to deforestation.
Prem Kumar Dhumal, the state's chief minister, said Himachal Pradesh would go on a "war footing" to fight the thousands of monkeys that have been turning farms into wastelands and attacking people, according to a statement from his office.